Latest Situation Updates

Stem rust attacks in Sweden heralds the return of a previously vanquished foe

Scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) are reporting that stem rust has returned to Sweden. In a recently released press release, lead researcher Anna Berlin from the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology outlines an unusually intense stem rust attack in wheat fields in Almunge, Uppland in the summer of 2017. The last major stem rust outbreak reported from Sweden was in 1951, so this latest outbreak and the initial indications that it is a sexual population emerging from barberry is a major cause for concern. Full details of the report from the Swedish University of … Continue reading

Detection of stem rust race RRTTF in Ecuador. A potentially important new race for the Americas

A team of scientists from Ecuador, Canada and the USA recently published on the detection of race RRTTF based on samples collected in Ecuador in February 2016. The study led by Dr Charlie Barnes from the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA), Quito, Ecuador has just been published in Plant Disease. Race RRTTF is distinctive by its combined virulence to genes Sr38 and Sr13 and poses a significant threat to wheat production in North and South America as a large proportion of current commercial cultivars are known to be susceptible. The origin of Pgt race RRTTF in Ecuador is unknown, … Continue reading

Study identifies likely scenarios for global spread of devastating crop disease

New research reveals for the first time the most likely months and routes for the spread of new strains of airborne ‘wheat stem rust’ that may endanger global food security by ravaging wheat production across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the wider world. Stem rust (or black rust), named for the blackening pustules that infect plant stems, caused devastating crop epidemics and for centuries before being tamed largely by use of resistance genes. Since the turn of the century, however, aggressive new strains have emerged – such as ‘Ug99’, first detected in Uganda in 1999 – that infect widely … Continue reading

Assessing the Stem Rust Situation in Western Siberia – Aug 2017

By: Dave Hodson, Mogens Hovmøller, Alexey Morgunov, Elena Salina and Vladimir Shamanin 3 September 2017 During the period 14-18th Aug 2017 a field trip was made to the Omsk, Novosibirsk and Altai Krai regions of Western Siberia, Russian Federation by CIMMYT and the Global Rust Reference Center (GRRC), Aarhus University. Organised by Dr. Alexey Morgunov (CIMMYT-Turkey), the visit aimed to get more information on the recent reports of large scale stem rust outbreaks covering millions of hectares in the region (Shamanin et al., 2016). It provided the opportunity to meet with the leading wheat scientists in the region and visit … Continue reading

CAUTION: February 2, 2017: Risk of wheat stem rust in Mediterranean Basin in the forthcoming 2017 crop season following outbreaks on Sicily in 2016

Results of extensive lab tests of samples of stem rust have shown that the 2016 stem rust epidemics in Sicily were caused by a new, highly virulent variant of race TTTTF. The samples were collected during serious and unusual outbreaks of wheat stem rust on both durum wheat and bread wheat in Sicily during April – June 2016. The epidemics were estimated to cover several thousands of hectares resulting in high inoculum load that could pose a threat to surrounding wheat areas in the forthcoming 2017 crop season, if environmental conditions prove suitable. Growers in at risk areas should be … Continue reading